Monday, September 27, 2010

copyright pt. 2

I found the Mcleod book very interesting and good food for thought. I was faintly aware of many of the issues he brought up--I remember everyone's obsession with Napster when I was in Middle School and my IP law class gave me a brief look into the problems with patents relating to organisms and drugs. I have also run into professors who have been unable to include articles or book chapters into their course packets because they couldn't get permission and no one was willing to fight out the legal battle of fair use. I think something needs to change, whether it is changes in the laws or changes in how the publishing, music, or movie industries view copyright protection.

After reading the Mcleod book, I spent a lot of time thinking about how our culture really is an interconnected web of old and new. I have to admit to knowing nothing about sampling until I read the book, but afterwards I was shocked how much music has a long history before it is recorded and copyrighted. It also brought back memories of my brother's band; I remember them not only playing cover songs but also original songs, which I am sure were built off of songs they had heard and liked. Since I am a nerdy law student this got me thinking about all the copyright problems he could have gotten into for playing cover songs in our basement for crowds of his high school friends: does that count as public performance even though it was private property or is it fair use since no one made any money and this was obviously not going to reduce sales of other band's records?

I can understand musicians and artists wanting to reserve some rights in their works, and I think they should have some control over their works since they did create the work, but I do not think copyright should be wielded as a weapon to prevent others from creating new works. I think for this reason the Creative Commons license is an interesting proposition and will hopefully become popular. I also wonder whether the US copyright law will increasingly protect the moral and related rights that are recognized in Europe and other countries. The US laws have not explicitly protect these moral rights, like right to recognition and the right to protect the integrity of the work, but I wonder if they will not sneak into our laws. This creates an interesting thought, if the author has the right to protect the integrity of the work, would sampling be considered destruction of the work?

1 comment:

  1. Joanna, thanks for your post. Your observations about creative output being built on the zeitgeist and past work that has influenced us is key in the two extra movies from this week, RiP! and the short "Everything is a Remix." You might want to check the second one out, especially (just five minutes long) because it deals with the issue of rock music appropriations.